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Written and lived by Frankie Berns
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Published June 30, 2012

Please feel free to comment with your own story. I would love to here that I’m not the only one who has been through this. :)

Finishing up this 2012 school year I think it’s important for me to reflect on my many years in the educational institutions before I die in December. Why would I want to reflect on that? Well because I’ve spent my whole life (so far) in school and I would like to find some sort of positiveness in it.

Pretty much all I remember hearing for 11 years is “the next step is harder” speeches. I’m pretty sure some of you have experienced these little shpeals, for they sound something a bit like this… “When you move on it’s going to be a big shock and difficult to adjust to a “grown-up” life. You’ll have more responsibilities, you’ll have to have everything figured out and, well, let’s just say it’s going to be REALLY hard for some of you.” Replace “grown-up life” with middle school, high school, and college and you’ll have what I call “teacher scare tactics” that they try to pass off as useful information about the future. So pretty much all I have learned is how to be scared or werry of the future. I’m beginning to wonder if this “helpful information” most teachers pass on is genuine or just another brilliant idea they came up with during a staff meeting…

“Hey, let’s tell our students how scary life is going to be once they’re out of here!”

Every shpeal seems too cookie cutter to be genuine. And just like the public school curriculum, they’re very vague and only give a general expectation in which they expect everyone to fit.

My experiences with the “scare tactic” speech began in the 5th grade. I was new to the school district and 5th grade was the last year of elementary school. No big deal, get to be big kids earlier I guess. Towards the end of the year (when the shpeal begins in most schools) my teacher told us that middle school was going to be a big change and our teachers will be expecting us to write in cursive and use only pens. PERMINANT PENS! Your mistakes will forever be on record and I sucked at spelling. Also middle school grades mattered, very much! So much so that colleges will look directly at them when you apply. Son of a Bitch.” I better put all my effort into the 3 years of middle school.” And that’s exactly what I did. It was all bull shit.

Elementary “scare tactic” speech bull shit list in regards to middle school…1) Never used cursive once during my 3 years there. 2) Never was required to use a pen on anything but a leadership poster 3)I cried in first period for a week but adjusted quite well otherwise.

Out of my levels of school, I believe middle school contained the largest amount of bull-shit speeches. This moment in my life, for I don’t know what reason, was one where I tried my best to succeed at everything under the sun and trust teachers even more than myself. I had one teacher in particular who would give out a menagerie of bull-shit advise. We shall call her Crazy Mrs. B.

Crazy Mrs. B preached to us about how middle school matters and how high school was essentially going to be a swift kick in the ass for some people and she really made me believe it. She seemed genuine and fairly trust worthy with information like such. Why so gullible was I? Maybe all my life I was led to believe adults were completely and 100% trust worthy unless they were asking you to jump into their van to see the puppies and eat candy. Mmhmm. Crazy Mrs. B said colleges would look at my middle school grades. She said high school was going to be really difficult because teachers didn’t take late assignments. Crazy Mrs. B said academics would be really hard if I didn’t keep up with the program and college would be even worse.

Bull shit, bull shit, bull shit, bull shit.

High School. Nailed it my first day without crying and pretty much all freshman year my major assignments all included coloring or a drawing of some sort. High school teachers (some, not all) were also big push-over’s who actually should have been teaching a kindergarten class instead. High school was a big fucking coloring book and here I was expecting to do something that actually mattered. Not only was I expected to have multiple colors in every drawing but a lot of the time, assignments weren’t even graded for accuracy, you were just given a grade if you handed it in. I started to notice that even though the assignments were meaningless and fairly easy, I didn’t want to put any effort into anything because I used all my “oh this is very important to my future” attitude in middle school. Which, by the way, just like a degree in English, really doesn’t mean shit to anybody.

By my sophomore year I was tired of the coloring for a good grade and the irritating vagina licks I called classmates. So I decided to do the only logical thing anyone who cares about their education should do; running start. Free college for two years, are you kidding me? I don’t care if you’re getting straight A’s in AP classes. If you don’t take advantage of a program like that then you’re officially deemed average intelligence. My counselor, whom I can only describe as a Aging Hippy Liberal Douche (South Park reference and completely accurate when describing this dude). Mr. Douche (for short) informed me that very few students graduate high school with their AA degree and I should only do part time my first quarter because college is really hard. By now I know better than to listen to ass holes and took 4 classes my first quarter.

Skip forward to the end of the school year, I have 48 credits out of 90 to complete my degree and a GPA of 3.5, which I do believe was better than my high school GPA. College classes were easier, more enjoyable and actually productive. Plus I only had to take 3 classes (with the acceptation of 2 P.E classes which made it 4 for two quarters) for 3 months instead of 6 for one year (or half a year in some cases). Oh, and the best part about taking the college classes is that universities will only look at my grades from the community college instead if the high school. I also don’t have to take the SAT. I’m only speaking for myself of course as I write this.

All my life I had been listening to teachers tell me how hard everything was going to be when I moved up in life. And it was all a heaping pile of bull shit. I only became skeptical of the “advise” when I realized I had been cheated, which was freshman year. That was when I really reflected on what had gone down compared to what they told me would go down. I can’t say that I’m mad that they deceived me or tried to scare me into being a better student, I blame myself though for letting me worry about it as much as I did. I wasted so much time and energy on the small insignificant details of my teachers demands to earn a good grade, I never had the chance to really absorb knowledge and appreciate a subject. So I suppose the positive I got out of my school years is the knowledge I can pass onto the younger generation.

If we survive this 2012 end of the world thing, kids, when your teachers pull to “scare tactics” out at the end of the year, don’t listen. Middle school and high school are a piece of cake. Just turn everything in a don’t be a little shit. And when you are a sophomore and you decide that you hate high school, do running start if the program is available. Also, please take your time and learn to appreciate the subject and not fret over the grades as much. If you can appreciate what you are learning then grades will follow. Even if it is a subject you have no interest in, just learn to have respect for it and accept that you two will never be the best of friends. Focus on what you are interested in but don’t… scratch that… never be afraid to explore all the possibilities of life and what’s left of it.


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